• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
businessday logo


Lagos earmarks N1bn to drive innovation-driven economic growth

Lagos earmarks N1bn to drive innovation-driven economic growth

…As Sanwo-Olu launches Science, Research, Innovation Council

To strengthen Lagos’ position as a centre for advanced research and technological progress, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has launched the Lagos State Science, Research, and Innovation Council (LASRIC). This initiative aims to drive innovation-driven economic growth in the state.

Representing Governor Sanwo-Olu at the inauguration held in the Lagos House, Ikeja, Deputy Governor Kadri Obafemi Hamzat disclosed the allocation of a N1billion grant to kick-start LASRIC’s initiatives. He highlighted the importance of this fund in promoting development and enhancing the state’s technological capabilities.

Read also: Sanwo Olu pledges support for economic growth initiatives

“This N1billion seed fund marks a crucial step in our strategy to stimulate development and enhance the state’s technological capabilities,” he said.

Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasised that this initiative aligns with the administration’s THEMES Plus Agenda, focusing on sustainable development. “The LASRIC Seed fund is designed to drive significant economic outcomes by engaging with the science and technology ecosystem,” he stated.

Highlighting past achievements, Sanwo-Olu mentioned that LASRIC has created over 500 jobs by supporting startups in sectors such as AgriTech, the circular economy, climate change, and construction tech. It has also supported over 70 projects in diverse fields, from biomass and biodiesel to artificial intelligence for medical imaging, boosting innovation activity by more than 250% in Lagos State.

Furthermore, the Governor outlined the government’s key responsibilities for the newly revamped LASRIC board, including increased funding and support, collaboration and partnerships, capacity building, and a focus on local challenges.

“These efforts will enhance our ecosystem in science, innovation, and technology,” he said. The board is comprised of experts from various sectors, tasked with deepening and expanding innovation activities in the state.

Also at the event, Tobosun Alake, Commissioner for Innovation, Science, and Technology, and a board member, highlighted the use of the POEM criteria (Proposition, Organisation, Economics, and Milestones) to ensure a just and fair deployment of the seed fund.

“POEM stands for Proposition – what problems are the startups and tech companies solving? Organisation – what kind of skills have been put together to solve the problem? The ‘E’ in POEM stands for Economics – does it make business sense? Will it generate revenue? Will people buy it? and ‘M’ stands for Milestone in terms of the building these businesses will have,” Alake said.

Read also: Nigeria’s PMI expansion signals stronger economic growth in Q1

On his part, the newly appointed Chairman of LASRIC, Olumuyiwa Odusanya, Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH) Ikorodu, assured the government of their dedication to their mandates.

“We will work with great minds, and entrepreneurs to further advance the human enterprise. This is a task placed upon us and we are operating with a lot of deep thoughts on how to sustain the good works of LASRIC,” Odusanya. said.